The hook

The case begins as a simple, although profoundly gruesome, murder of a homeless person in downtown Denver, Colorado. Over a short period of time, it escalates into a serial killer’s favorite pastime; screwing with the police by leaving false leads and clues at his murders. The killer’s second victim makes everyone realize that the Cherry Creek Choker is back. His original killings of four hookers, their bodies left at Cherry Creek Park for anyone to find, scandalized and terrified the city. Then, he unexpectedly took a hiatus for several years. What was the killer doing during those years when there weren’t any new victims? Had he moved on to greener pastures or had he been in jail? Josh Brayburn, the lead Denver detective, thinks the Cherry Creek Coker may be the same sleazebag, Roger Gibbons, who killed Josh’s wife and been sentenced to five to ten for the crime. When Josh finds out that Gibbons has been granted early parole and his release corresponds with the new Choker killing he is almost certain Gibbons is the killer. The problem is, there is no proof. No clues have been left at any of the crimes, including the latest one. When a state senator’s daughter is kidnapped, Abby Swope, the lead Ft. Collins detective, is called in to try to help solve the case. Josh and Abby feel an immediate, mutual attraction. Then the senator’s daughter is ransomed but found murdered. Unfortunately, this killing has nothing in common with the other ones Josh has been investigating. Thus, no one, including Josh, has any idea that the killings, are done by the same maniac. When a schoolteacher, who had previously been convicted of child molestation, is killed, the mystery deepens. Josh eventually discovers that to learn who the killer really is and what motivates him, he must travel a path that leads through Jacksonville, Florida. This is where his grandfather, who is an ex-cop and his murdered wife’s grandfather, who had gotten rich in real estate both live.

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